Boyer Michelle SWPCA .pdf

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Original filename: Boyer_Michelle_SWPCA.pdf
Author: Michelle Nicole Boyer

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Representations of Higher
Education in
Contemporary American
Indian Fiction
Michelle Nicole Boyer
American Indian Studies, MA
University of Arizona

What are AI authors writing?

How can AI novels shape
audience perceptions?

What Is AIL?
!   American Indian Literature
!   “Literature about Indians, by Indians” (Velie & Kidwell)
!   A body of meaning taken from a specific context

Pre-Contact AI Education
!   Existed!
!   Based on life-stage learning modules
!   Fulfillment of prior lessons needed before advancement,

but no set timeline to learn each lesson
!   Self-paced
!   Gendered
!   Knowledge is its own living, breathing entity
!   Community values were in the “curriculum”
!   Community valued above individualism

Western Education
!   Individualistic
!   Forced upon Native peoples
!   Negative perceptions from negative events
!   Families separated; children forcibly taken
!   Horrible treatment, including death
!   Language and cultural loss


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